Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Cancer Crushing Benefit

Spring is Here...Fish Are Responding


March has come and gone and it's finally like early spring in Florida again. For a while I felt like I didn't live far enough south! Now we are having 80 degree days and 60's at night. This past weekend we had super high winds due to a slight cold front moving through. Not to worry though, it is only dipping a couple degrees and we are right back to normal. Sardines, also known as pilchards or whitebait, have shown up again and the fish have responded. This past month has been some of the best fishing I can remember and I have been busy with trips.

two fisherman with redfish

But, before my report on the fishing, I'd like to to take this moment up front to let you know about an event Saturday April 4th. One of my younger colleagues and terrific fisherman in the Tampa Bay area, Capt. Bob McGuire, is battling cancer and has been unable to support himself during this unwelcome stage of his life. We are all rallying around him by organizing a 'Cancer Crushing Benefit' to assist Bobby while receiving treatments to be cured of this disease. All of the guides in the region are participating by giving our time on the water and taking anyone fishing for a $100 donation to help Capt. Bob. After a day of fishing, we are all going to the Ozona Pig for some great food and drinks. There will be silent auctions and live music. Yours truly will be one of the performers, selling my recently released CD, 'Pocketful of Change' for $10 and giving all of the proceeds to the cause. I will be joined by the host of Catch 47's 'The Average Angler', Glen Pla, for a song or two. Then local bands 'Irie' and 'Full Fledged Unit' will perform. Any donations are welcomed even if you can't make it to the event on Sat. To be a part of this important event and help out a dear friend, please call Amanda Baty 727-647-1616 or Capt. Dean Parks at 727-510-0823 to be involved. Thank you.

Now, here is what I've been doing out there on the water...
Trout are doing their thing, grouping up around the islands and eating extremely well on the moving tides. Just like every year previous, they begin to get pressured so much that they tend to move around after a few of the fish in a school get hooked. Most people will give up, but those in the know will let out a few feet of anchor line and be in the game again. Of course the bait of choice is a live sardine. They love these baits presented with 20 lb flourocarbon leader and a 1/0 or #1 hook. I've seen plenty of anglers using shrimp watching and not catching once the sardines are presented. The large fish in the 24 - 26 inch range are still around, but 18 - 22 inches is a more common.

The Redfish started eating almost overnight. I spent a few days each week working on a few schools here and there with a bit of success. But then, the tides began to get right and they have been responding very well. Most of the flats I look for them are holding schools. Pinfish is my first choice for bait, but once I begin chumming with live sardines, they can change their focus and start looking for the greenbacks. Shallow waters will allow you to find the fish, but I have been most successful returning at the higher part of the incoming tides. They seem to be more comfortable in the deeper water, 3 - 5 feet in depth. Some days have produced 5 fish others 25. It all depends on whether or not the dolphin come in and scatter the school while trying to get a quick meal. It should be a great season for the Reds with several flats showing good numbers of them.

Snook are beginning to eat as well. The water temps have climbed into the high 60's and low 70's. Their favorite bait showing up, the sardine, has also helped the cause. I will be targeting them a lot more in the next few weeks. Although we have hooked a few, the action should turn up as the water continues to warm. I look for the cuts around oyster bars and swashes around the passes to hold good numbers. I have already seen them grouping up in these areas, and expect them to get ready to move out to the beaches.

As always the Spanish Mackerel and Kingfish are beginning to show offshore and nearshore. Cut off hooks while fishing for Trout inshore is a sign of the Spanish arriving. We will be going out some mornings for great action and then coming inshore for the Snook and Reds. Once they are here, there are several close to shore rockpiles I like to hit within 2 -3 miles of land. I look for the birds diving on the bait pods running to the surface by the Mackerel. Hold on tight! That 'Smoker King' could be the next fish on!!!

April will be awesome out here. Tarpon just around the corner. I still have some great days around the best tides available in Boca Grande. Your largest Trout, Redfish, Snook or Tarpon could be just a phone call or e-mail away. Don't forget April 4th and Capt. Bob McGuire. Let's go Fishing!

Capt. Brian

Capt. Brian Caudill

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